It took Benny Feilhaber all of about 3 minutes last night to show that he's up for preseason. Soccer's favorite all-American, New York-born, Austrian-Brazilian did his best Lance Armstrong impersonation against LA in the opening match of the 2012 Desert Diamond Cup with an outlandish bike kick goal to put the Revs up 1-0 before most of the crowd had even taken their seats. Hell of a way to start the year.
Former Houston Dynamo midfield ace Stuart Holden hasn't had the easiest time since joining England's Bolton Wanderers in January of 2010. Sidelined twice by serious injuries, a broken leg and an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Holden has unfortunately become just as familiar with the inside of the rehab room as he is with the pitch.
But, as the old saying goes, when life hands you lemons you make lemonade. Or a Youtube series. Welcome to No Holden Back.
According to the website of FC Nordsjælland, Michael Parkhurst has been called in to the US national team for next week's friendly against Italy. At least, I think that's what it says - I don't speak Danish, and Google Translate is only so helpful.
Anyway, Parkhurst being tabbed by Jurgen Klinsmann isn't much of a surprise, seeing as the one-time Rev put in two fairly strong showings against Panama and Venezuela last month, and the US is now paper-thin in central defense thanks to the Oguchi Onyewu injury.
Who else will join him? Here's my best guess:
GK: Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
D: Parkhurst, Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers), Carlos Bocanegra (Glasgow Rangers), Timothy Chandler (FC Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA)
MF: Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Danny Williams (1899 Hoffenheim), Fabian Johnson (1899 Hoffenheim), Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla)
F: Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Note that this isn't my roster, just the roster I think Klinsmann will call. Also bear in mind that injuries have plagued Kyle Beckerman (recently) and Zak Whitbread (forever), otherwise the first would be a lock and the second would get a look.
The two young American-born left backs in England - Danny Potts of West Ham and Adam Henley of Blackburn Rovers - are expected to be with the youth squads of England and Wales, respectively. And neither's really ready for a spot with any full national team, anyway. Pearce, meanwhile, was pretty solid last month, and needs another look at the spot.
Up top it was a coin flip between LA's Edson Buddle and Wondolowski for the third forward slot, so I ended up going with Wondo. Hush-hush reports out of camp say that Klinsmann's staff were very happy with the San Jose man's ability to create chances - though, like the rest of us, they're still waiting for him to finish a couple.
It may be I'm reading too much into this quote. I'll admit it. But did Rauwshan McKenzie just take a shot at Jason Kreis?
“This is the first time that I’ve had a defensive coach,” a smiling McKenzie said on Monday after inking a deal with Chivas USA three days earlier. “It’s easy to understand what he’s talking about and he obviously helps me because he played the position when he was playing, so it’s a bit easier than having like a forward as a coach.”
The move to Chivas makes sense - McKenzie played for Real Salt Lake in 2010 while current Goats head coach Robin Fraser was an assistant under Jason Kreis. Wait, isn't Kreis a forward?
Yes, actually. Kreis has 108 career MLS goals and was the league MVP in 1999 while with the Dallas Burn. Since then, he's made a pretty successful transition to coaching (see: MLS Cup, 2009).
Back to McKenzie, though: The 6-foot-4 center back has made exactly 11 appearances in MLS, so I think it's fair to characterize his field time as "limited." And whatever else he's done as a coach, Kreis did some of that limiting. If McKenzie harbors any bitterness about his lack of minutes, his former coach probably has a role in that.
And then we have this quote about how he's enjoying not having, like, a forward as a coach. Which is interesting in part because Kreis - yes, the forward - coached the team that set the current record for fewest goals conceded in a single season.
Game on? I hope so. There can never be too many grudges in MLS, as far as I'm concerned.
Before you settle in to watch tonight's LIVE, streaming pre-season games from Arizona, head over to TheCrew.com for a LIVE stream of the “State of the League” conversation from 6:00-8:00 PM with MLS Commissioner Don Garber alongside Columbus Crew Owner Clark Hunt and Crew President & GM Mark McCullers.
Have a question the commissioner? Ask him via Twitter using the hashtag #Crew96. Make sure to follow the Columbus Crew on Twitter for further updates.
Watch the "State of the League" here.
With First Kick only weeks away it's time to start thinking about making all of the necessary purchases that make your season complete.
You'll need your tickets, your new kit and your new, officially licensed MLS gnome for sure. You'll also need MLS Live for those days that you can't make it out to the stadium in your kit with your gnome (they're for good luck).
MLS Live, formerly known as MatchDay Live, is an all-new product for the 2012 season, completely rebuilt and reimagined. MLS Live offers high quality, HD streams in Flash that will be available across multiple devices; one subscription will allow you to access 230+ games via computer, iPad, iPhone, Roku & Panasonic TV’s. That's one price, 5 devices.
And what's the price? $59.99 for the season. Not a bad deal at all.
MLS Live launches soon...very soon. For more information visit MLSsoccer.com in the coming days.
Forget Jimmy Conrad and his jokes. Forget Eddie Johnson talking about himself in the third person. And don't even bother to tip your beret in the general direction of Thierry Henry.
Sporting KC's Aurelien Collin is the funniest, most delightfully conceited Frenchman you will ever lay eyes on...and he's here to solve all of your problems.
Welcome to Collin's Corner.
Here's a look at one of Sporting Kansas City's new billboards, featuring striker and reigning Rookie of the Year C.J. Sapong.
Find it at:
- I-435 and 350 Highway (February 20)
- I-70 and Indiana (February 27)
Breakout star Graham Zusi will also be featured on a billboard located at I-35 and Cambridge Circle beginning Feb. 20. CLICK HERE for more information.
Dato curioso: cada uno de los cuatro clubes de la MLS que disputará el torneo de pretemporada Desert Diamond Cup en Tucson, Arizona tiene en sus líneas a al menos un jugador latino que no jugó en la MLS en 2011.
New England Revolution contará con John Lozano y Fernando Cárdenas, dos colombianos provenientes del América del Cali.
A su vez, los New York Red Bulls tienen a su propio colombiano en el experimentado Wilman Conde, quien ya había jugado en la MLS con Chicago Fire y regresa para alinearse con los toros de la Gran Manzana.
Por su parte, el Galaxy tiene al brasileño proveniente del Alajuelense de Costa Rica Marcelo Sarvas y al debutante mexicoamericano Rafael García.
Por último, Real Salt Lake cuenta con cuatro jóvenes latinos que participaron en el SuperDraft este año: el uruguayo Enzo Martínez, el brasilero Diogo de Almeida, el argentino Emiliano Bonfigli y el colombiano Sebastián Velásquez.
Los clubes emeleseros tendrán la oportunidad de mirar a sus jugadores en acción para tomar decisiones finales sobre quien será titular, quien será reserva y quien se ira del equipo. La pregunta es simple: ¿Quién de estos latinos tendrá el mayor brillo en Tucson?